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October 9, 2017 | Tragedy

6 Drown, Rescuer Washed Away In Ashanti

Daily Guide
A dead body that was retrieved from the Offin River
A dead body that was retrieved from the Offin River

IT WAS tragedy galore in the Ashanti Region over the weekend as three separate mind-blowing incidents claimed the lives of eight people. A toddler and his mother drowned alongside four other people in the Offin River.

The fatal incidences happened at Atwima Manhyia, where floods claimed one life; then at Manso Atwidee where a 14-year-old boy drowned in an abandoned mining pit.

The worst of all occurred at Amaadaa where 6 people drowned when their boat capsized. Assemblyman of Nkrumah Betinko, Martin Prempeh, confirming the news, said that 13 people, mainly farmers who were travelling to their farms to collect foodstuffs, had the boat in which they were travelling capsized when it hit a stump under the river.

He disclosed that seven of the victims were rescued on time but the remaining six drowned.

According to him, the chiefs and elders of the town were called to offer libation and perform other sacrifices to help retrieve the dead bodies from the river but only one person was found by the close of Saturday.

The three separate incidences created miserable scenes in the towns where they occurred. Significantly, all the three tragedies were linked with the massive floods that hit the region following torrential rains on Friday.

The discovered bodies had been dumped at the morgue awaiting autopsy as strenuous efforts were also being made by rescuers, especially at Amaadaa in the Atwima Mponua District to retrieve bodies of five people, including the toddler.

Rescuer Killed
At Atwima Manhyia one Isaac Asare, who had devoted his time to save the lives of people who had been trapped by the floods, sadly drowned in the process.

Asare, said to be 46 years old, did a yeoman's job by risking his life to save the lives of some people that had been trapped due to the rising waters after lengthy hours of rainfall in the area. But at the tail-end of his rescue mission, he was carried away by the running water.

Kwabena Nsenkyire, the Ashanti Regional boss of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), who confirmed the incident to DAILY GUIDE, attributed the floods at Atwima Manhyia and other areas in the region to unapproved structures built on waterways.

He therefore called for immediate demolishing of all unauthorized structures that block the smooth flow of water, especially when it rains, so as to prevent the reoccurrence of such mishaps in future.

Boy, 14, Drowns
In the second incident, which occurred at Manso Atwidee on Saturday around 8am, Simon Oteng, 14, who was reported to be in the company of his two friends, went to swim in astagnant water, which unknown to them, was an abandoned, deep mining pit.

Oteng was said to be the first to jump into the water and immediately drowned before his fear-stricken pals. The other two youngsters quickly rushed home to break the news to some elderly people who came to rescue Oteng but it was too late as he had passed on already.

The Ashanti Regional NADMO boss, who confirmed the report to the paper, stated that abandoned mining pits across the country pose a great security threat to the citizenry and charged the appropriate agencies to quickly refill all those pits in the country.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi

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